The bullock cart salesman in Mysore

M P V Shenoi

Shenoi, a civil engineer and MBA, rose to the rank of Deputy Director-General of Works in the Indian Defence Service of Engineers. He has also been a member of HUDCO’s advisory board and of the planning team for Navi Mumbai. After retirement he has been helping NGOs in employment-oriented training, writing articles related to all aspects of housing, urban settlements, infrastructure, project and facility management and advising several companies on these issues. His email id is


Venkataramana Shetty ­- I have changed his first name - was perhaps middle aged when I was born. In those days, in Mysore, in our community - and probably elsewhere in India, too - there was no way a child like me could talk to an outsider like Venkataramana.

But he was so active in our mohalla, and the older members of the family and community would talk about him, and I would hear their discussions. My father did not like him, but my maternal grandfather liked him. Sometimes they talked about Venkataramana.

Shettys are from a community whose Dharma is to take to business as their profession. This is as per the tenets of the Hindu caste system (Varnashrama Dharma). Following this, in those days, most Shettys were engaged in business, big or small as per their ability from a young age.

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